Title: Smoke Screen
Author: Terri Blackstock
Narrator: Sarah Zimmerman
Release Date: Nov 2019
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Length: 7hrs 14min
About the Book:
A gripping new novel from New York Times bestselling suspense author Terri Blackstock.
One father was murdered. Another was convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.
Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado hometown. His mother begs him to come back now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.
Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down not long after, people assumed Nate set the fire to get even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left town without looking back.
Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and now she’s fighting a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. Brenna is barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.
As Nate and Brenna deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—the past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.
Smoke Screen was an interesting blend of the action and suspense typical of Terri Blackstock’s writing, along with more of a women’s fiction feel. Even though there was still an element of murder mystery, the main focus of the story was around Brenna and the emotional circumstances surrounding her custody battle. It’s what got your blood pumping and the pages turning (or in my case kept the audio running). This was an easy book for me to get into and once again Terri Blackstock has proven herself as a must-read author.
I listened to the audiobook version of this while on a roadtrip. Admittedly the narrator’s voice wasn’t my favorite. I would have preferred if she made a bigger distinction between character voices, and her voice seemed to fall flat on some of the more intense scenes. I also think it would have been better if there was a male narrator for the sections in Nate’s POV. Even though the narration could have used some improvement, I was still able to get sucked into the story and enjoy it.